Thursday, June 19, 2014

Now at Netflix Instant: Like Someone in Love (2013)

Like Someone in Love (2013) - Written and Directed by Abbas Kiarostami; Starring Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okuno, Ryo Kase.

By Kenny Howell

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami goes to Japan, and comes away with a compelling character study unfolding over two days.

Akiko is a young escort unhappy with her place in life. She is arguing with her boss that she doesn't want to deal with anything tonight. Her grandmother has come to visit her, but she has left her stranded in the city, not returning her phone calls. Her boss sends her to one of his friends, and she reluctantly agrees to go.

When she gets there, she meets an older man, Takashi. He is a kind, gentle old professor who seemingly just wants her companionship. She is tired, and tries to get him to go to the bedroom, maybe to get it over with, or really just to go to sleep. He has prepared a dinner for her from the region she was born, but disappointed, he lets her go to sleep.

The next morning, he takes her back into the city to take care of some things, and Takashi meets her boyfriend, who doesn't understand why Akiko is so coy with him. He doesn't know of her profession, and it frustrates him, but he doesn't know how to deal with it.

There doesn't seem like there is much going on here, and maybe there isn't a ton, but Kiarostami really takes his time to understand these characters. It is probably something that is lost in most films because the directors don't care as much about character as they do story. Kiarostami takes his time, letting you get to know these characters, and unveiling bits and pieces of info as the story progresses. Their lives drive the story, instead of vice versa. It takes patience, but it is well worth it if you settle into it.

Rating: ***1/2

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